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miércoles, 11 de julio de 2018

Avantium launches DAWN technology

Type of post: NEWS.

Late last month, Avantium announced that it would officially open the pilot biorefinery for its Zambezi technology in July (see post, 29/6/2018). Yesterday, the Dutch company unveiled the new name of the technology during the opening event in Amsterdam: DAWN, the future ofbiorefining. The new facility located in Delfzijl has a maximum capacity of processing 20 tons of dry wood chips per year.

Figure 1. Logo of DAWN technology

The Zambezi technology has been previously featured on the Blog but Avantium has just released new information of the process renamed as DAWN. Some interesting data are summarized in the table below.

It is an innovative and modern development of an industrial process that has been proven at commercial scale since the 1930s. Avantium has radically improved this process through proprietary inventions.
Those inventions reduce water consumption by 70% with significantly reduced energy needs. This not only manages the environmental footprint of the process but also improves the cost profile of the resulting products.
Forestry residues (wood), corn stover, bagasse, sugar beet residue and others.
Main product streams
1. High purity glucose.
2. Mixed sugars. In addition to glucose, the stream contains a number of other valuable sugars such as xylose, mannose and galactose. Mixed sugars are suitable as feedstock for fermentation processes used to make products such as ethanol, vitamins and acetic acid.
3. Lignin. Energy generation is currently the predominant application for lignin but additional higher value applications are being developed.
The technology uses acid to selectively separate the products:
- The feedstock is loaded in a cylindrical vessel.
- The mixed sugars are separated from the feedstock through the addition of acid (hemicellulose hydrolysis).
- The high purity glucose is separated from the feedstock when acid is added in the second pass (cellulose hydrolysis) in more concentrated form.
- Once the sugars are removed, lignin is the remaining product in the vessel.
- The vessel is emptied of lignin, fresh feedstock is loaded and the process is repeated.
- The acid is recycled to the beginning of the process.
Assuming successful results from the pilot biorefinery, Avantium estimates that the design of the commercial scale flagship biorefinery will commence in 2019 and the start-up of the plant in 2022 or 2023.
This unique flagship biorefinery is anticipated to have a capacity of 130 ktons per year of dry matter wood chips. This can further be scaled up to 350 ktons per year.

Figure 2. Simplified schematic overview of the DAWN process

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